General Electric tends to be a rather conservative brand. It sticks to message – showcasing its technology in beautifully shot ads featuring huge turbines, trains winding through majestic landscapes, and neat-o lab experiments.
Which is why Jeff Goldblum playing a piano in a hot tub is a particularly surprising move.
For the truly strange and delightful new commercial, GE and its agency BBDO New York hired as directors the duo of Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, best known for their comedic sketch show, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! They once described the off-kilter show as "the nightmare version of television."
Now, for GE, they have created what most conservative marketers would see as the nightmare version of advertising. It's bizarre. It's off putting. It spouts over-the-top lies about the product's benefits. It features a big-name star, but has him sporting big hair, gold chains, and a non-relatable patina of self-worship. In other words, it's hilarious.
The point of the spot (and it would appear that there is a point) is to advertise GE Link light bulb, which Goldblum promises will provide lighting that makes anyone look like a movie star. Amid all the joking, it also sneaks in a few real details about the product.
As advertising for light bulbs goes, it's certainly a departure from the norm.